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This Is Us - Marriage, Part 2

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Today Pastor Ed Allen continued his sermon series "This Is Us" by talking again about Marriage.  He took up where he left off last week, continuing to talk about Keys to a Healthy Marriage.

Key #3 -- Speak the truth in love.

This is from Ephesians 4:14-16, and it applies to all relationships.  Telling the truth is a really big deal to God.

Speaking the truth in love builds stability.  It's contrasted with being tossed by waves.

Speaking the truth in love complements spiritual growth and unity.

Speaking the truth in love is critical for church relationships, and especially for marriage.

Some hate confrontation and need to be reminded that burying the hurt doesn't make it go away.  Others can use the truth like a club and need to be reminded that truth that can't be received doesn't help.

There are two kinds of situations where we need this:

When we've been hurt, disappointed, frustrated:

1)  Allow God to show you your real concern.

Anger is a secondary emotion.  The distance between feeling and awareness can cause problems.  Unrecognized emotion can be at the root of passive-aggression and sarcasm.

Ask the Lord what's going on - Psalm 139.

2)  Admit your issue to yourself with grace and vulnerability.

That's the "in love" part.  You're in a good place if you're asking what the real issue is.

3)  Think FAB:

Focus on your feelings.

Avoid absolutes.

Be brief.

Make hurt the substance, not the fuel.

When we have objective criticism.

If not given in love, it can't be received.

Do your PART --

Prayer coverage

Share Active concerns.

Rehearse the criticism (with a trusted friend).

Set a Time (not heat of the moment).

This is a lot of work.  You'll do the work one way or the other!  Do it on the front end!

Key #4 - Practice your relational posture.

This one's particular to marriage, from Ephesians 5:21-33

For wives:  Submit and respect

1)  This requirement is given to wives.

Wives are told to offer submission and respect.  This is not the husband's concern.  He's not to demand it or take it.

2)  Submission, NOT obedience.

We obey God.  This is your relational posture.  It's about order and function, not about power.

3)  Motivation:  As to the Lord.

This is a way of honoring the Lord.  It's addressing something else altogether than sexism or power.

Respect your husband because that is what he needs.

Men want to know their life matters - that's their point of insecurity.

Men need their wives' respect - that's why God called you to it.

4) Degree of submission: In everything.

The emotional posture needs to be respect.  This does not mean the husband's the boss.  It looks different in different relationships.  This is an attitude.

You're not called to be something you're not.

You're called to offer respect because the man in your life is needy.

For husbands:  Love your wives.

1)  Standard:  As Christ loved the church.

Love is a choice.

2)  This means we lay down our lives for our wives.

Authority to serve.

How can you advance her agenda?

Your relational posture:  Laying down your life. 

Authority is not yours to take.  The wife offers that authority.  Authority means service and responsibility.

What we're called to do is harder than a grand gesture - we're called to do it in small, daily ways - because that's what your wife needs.

Your wife needs to be loved.

She's designed to be the recipient of your love.  Don't let your love grow cold.

3)  Goal:  To make her holy.

Not to make her happy.  This is about her purpose.

You can't do it if you don't have a connection with Christ, so work on that connection first.

When you see stains, wrinkles, or blemishes - those are the reason you're called to the relationship.  They get ironed out by love.

Key #5 - Pray together.

Statistics:  The biggest impact on a lasting marriage isn't church attendance, religious belief, or religious upbringing.  It's praying together.

Easter Sunday: Why Jesus?

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This was a big weekend at Gateway Community Church.  On Good Friday, we met to sing and pray and hear a message from Pastor Alex York out of Zechariah 13:1 about Jesus as a fountain cleansing us from sin and impurity.

On Saturday, we had a memorial service for elder Tom Bellino, who went home to be with the Lord on March 24, after a battle with cancer.  We celebrated his life in the context of Easter and belief in the Resurrection.

On Easter Sunday, we began a new schedule of two services on Sunday morning at 9:00 and 11:00 - and both services were packed!

Pastor Ed Allen spoke to us from John 14:1-9, answering the question Why Jesus?  Why do Christians keep insisting that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life?  We took an honest look at the exclusive claims that Christians have made over the centuries.

Jesus' story is remarkable, and there are strong, rational reasons to believe it.  We went over those briefly.

-- The Empty Tomb

Alternate explanations are very weak, and where did this idea even come from if it wasn't true?

-- Early Witnesses

Paul wrote less than 25 years after the event that Jesus had appeared after his death to more than 500 witnesses - and most of them were still alive.

-- Lives of the First Followers

Their lives were completely changed.  They suffered and died over the next 40 years without changing their story.

Okay, so What does it have to do with us?

We're starting with these foundational principles:

1)  The universe was created with the greatest intention and care.

2)  Humans were made to occupy the pinnacle of creation and relate to God.

3)  The universe has an intrinsic moral framework.

4)  When that framework is violated, existence is altered; sin leads to death.

So we're in trouble.  And we know we're in trouble.  We see the effects in our lives.

Romans 3:23 - "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

2 Corinthians 5:21 - "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him."

The sacrificial system of the Old Testament pointed to Jesus, and Jesus fulfilled that system.

So - "Do not let your hearts be troubled."  If you know Jesus, you know the Father.

Jesus is the Way!

Jesus is the way God relates to us.  We need a Saviour.

Jesus is the Truth!

The Truth is a person.  If you want to know the Truth, know Jesus.

Jesus is the Life!

Real life is through Jesus.  The tomb is empty!

It's difficult to hold onto our faith at times.  But Jesus told us, "Don't be troubled.  I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."

Posted by Sondy Eklund with